Written By: Warren J McCrickard
It’s getting to be that time of the summer season when almost everywhere in these United States is experiencing warm weather. As the heat of the day gives way to the cool breeze of dusk, one can only hope he or she is sitting outside, beverage in hand, listening to the sweet melodies of summer. Vagrant Records perfectly timed the US debut of the sensational British electro-pop artist, Ms. Olivia Broadfield. Her album “Eyes Wide Open” is the definition of summer sound.
Olivia, who has been recording since age 13, has found a delightful sound by combining her airy vocals with catchy arrangements. Inspired greatly by the Frou Frou leading lady, Imogen Heap, Olivia has all the elements to be the star of a Zach Braff produced movie soundtrack. “Eyes Wide Open” has a lot of hooks that will hum through your head. While Olivia’s subject matter can at times be dark, the twinkle effects and drum synthesizers encourage the listener have the hope to endure the challenges life carries.
Her first single off the album “Don’t Cry” starts with a children’s rhyme “Clap hands, daddy comes/With a pocket full of plums” which repeats throughout the song with an added line “Flashback, twisted up/I’m so close to giving up/Don’t cry.” It’s a song that expresses that place where a simpler, less complicated life is wanted even yearned for as when one was a child – with no worries or cares.
With such universal themes as joy, doubt, fear, and passion found throughout the album, it is an ode to summer love. It is as if Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt of MTV’s The Hills asked Olivia to write their love story and so far, as America has responded to that show, they’ve also responded rather warmly to Olivia. Songs off this album have even been featured on that show!
“Eyes Wide Open” definitely appeals to the current MTV generation and MTV helped lay the foundation for her strong debut. The previously mentioned “Don’t Cry” had over 7,000 downloads after being featured on an episode of The Real World.
Even noting this specific tie, her album is broader than Top 40 pop. Its sound is broad enough to give her strong influence on the Electronic charts as well as Indie charts. Other notable tracks are track 3 “Indescribable” about that can’t get enough of you, stay up all night, making-out love; track 6 “Lost in You” which has a mid 90s influence that is just wonderful; track 8 “Probably Nothing” where the girl is trying to maintain the passion and unity of being a couple as the boy is beginning to distance himself and act on doubt; and the title track “Eyes Wide Open” about the realization that the relationship might be at its end.
Olivia and her debut album are a great addition to a music library. Jump in the car, roll down the windows, and let her carry you into the night.